The 23rd of June goes down in history of Iran’s volleyball. Thanks to a victory over Serbia, the Asian team claimed first win of the FIVB World League but inserted just two points into the standings as the Europeans were defeated only in tie-break. Quite other achievements can be boasted by Cuba. Fidel Castro’s fighters have not won any game so far and they are on track for extend this run being crashed down by Germany again. 



Iran – Serbia 3 – 2 (25-20, 24-26, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12)

Iran: Marouf 1, Ghaemi 0, Mousavi 16, Ghafour 8, Zarini 18, Tashakori 5, Zarif (L) and Mahmoudi 11, Fayazi, Gholami 10, Mahdavi, Mobasheri 15  
Serbia: Petkovic 2, N. Kovacevic 17, Stankovic 11, Atanasijevic 16, Petric 0, Podrascanin 7, Rosic (L) and Nikic 11, Lisinac 1, Brdjovic, Starovic 3

Loyal fans packed Tehran at Azadi hall to watch the Pool B match while others tuned into sports radio and TV, which has helped awaken national sense and enthusiast Iran’s volleyball team, creating support for the team’s ability to defeat their rivals.

Iran reduced personal mistakes and improved its ability for Sunday’s defeat over Serbia.

In the first set, Iran took command of the game immediately and assembled a solid lead by 8-4, as Serbia’s Nikola Kovacevic narrowed the gap. Iran made substitution and made the next points to lead and16-13. Serbia had problems passing Iran’s blocking, and were behind five points by 18-13, but Iran gained points even from a few triple blocks. Despite a time out and substations by Serbia, Iran finished the set victory 25-20.

In the second set, Iran found a lead 7-6 with good service and spikes of Hamzeh Zarrini, but excellent spiking by Serbian players brought a one point margin for them by 8-7 in first technical time-out. Serbia, however, was determined not to give up, and fought hard to close the set 26-24.

The third set was running in favor of host team as they showed high keen in gaining scores , by 8-5 got the first technical time-out. Milos Nikic of Serbia tied the score 9-9 and forced Julio Velasco take his time-out. Serbia got use from weak dig of Iran by sharp spikes and made gap wider by 19-16. Iran’s solid blocks and hard spikes narrowed the scores gap 23-24. But after a timeout by Serbia, the team secured the win at 25-23.

Set four started with effective Spiking of Serbia, and in minutes they lead 8-6. Iran’s players gained spirit, and with spikes made the score 15-13. Serbia made substations and cut the difference 19-20, as Celasco asked for a time out to bring down the heath of opponent team. Moments were passing slowly for home fans as Iran led 23-22. A service by Mousavi after touching the net came down in Serb ground at 25-22, and Iran won the set.

Iran was motivated in fifth set after improving their service and spike to lead 5-2. Serbian used the personal weakness of Iran players to made scores tie at 10. But spikes by Fayazi and two blocks by Gholami made the scores 13-10 for Iran. Three substations by Serbia was not effective, and Iran won the set and game at 15-12.

Iran’s top scorer was Hamzeh Zarini with 18 win points from 54 attempts. Serbia’s Nikola Kovacevic made 17 points from 58 total attempts. Mobasheri and Aleksandar Atanasijevic both had 13 points, making them the third best scores. Iran also surpassed Serbia in other skills such as service, blocks, digs and sets.


Germany – Cuba 3 – 1 (25-23, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23)

Germany: P. Steuerwald 2, Kaliberda 22, Broshog 6, Froom 9, Westphal 4, Bohme 7, M. Steurewald (L) and Schops 9, Hohne 5, Kampa 1, Collin 3, Tille
Cuba: Estrada5, Cepeda 18, Mesa 8, Bisset 19, Fundora 10, Fiel 13, Guitierrez (L) and Leyva, Macias, Quintana

Following the first 2013 FIVB World League match between Germany and Cuba on Saturday, the German team came back Sunday to win 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23) to get their second win of the season.

Germany’s head coach Vital Heynen changed his team on four positions from Saturday, putting Patrick Steuerwald, Chirstian Fromm, Tim Broshog and Dirk Westphal in the starting six. But the Cubans also learned from their previous defeat, as Rolando Cepeda scored seven points and ensured a balanced result in the first set. In the end of the first set, however, it was the German team who took advantage of the disagreements in the Cuban defense to win 25-23.

In the second heat, Cuba took advantage of unforced errors, but the German serves found their way into the net and enabled a 14-10 leader. However, four blocks in a row turned the backlog into a 25-22 win for Germany.

After the second set defeat, Cuba tried to fight back in the third and was able to secure ther first three set points. The German team showed a constantly good performance, but the strong Cuban block and an ace of Cubans MVP Cepeda blocked the straight win for Germany.

Until the first technical time out Cuba led 8-7, but the German team wouldn’t accept another defeat, and increased their attacks on the Cuban defense with strong serves. Similar to Saturday’s game, the German’s reception was the key to their success.


Pool B Standing:

RankTeam   Played games       Matches won/lostPoints1.Italy              6                 5/1    152.Russia              6                 5/1    133.Serbia              6                 3/3    104.Germany              4                 2/2     75.Iran              4                 1/3     36.Cuba              6                 0/6     0


Foto: FIVB

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